Off with the old, on with the new (Ephesians 4:17-24)

Our study this coming Wednesday will be from Ephesians 4:17-24

Our outline:

  1. The authority of the directive (17a, “I … testify in the Lord”)
  2. The distinctive walk directed (17b, “you should no longer walk as the rest”)
  3. the mindset of the majority (17c-19)
    • “futility of their mind” (17)
    • “understanding darkened” (18 )
    • “alienated from the life of God” (18 )
    • “blindness of their heart” (18 )
    • “past feeling” (19)
    • “lewd” (19)
    • “work all uncleanness” (19)
    • “greediness” (19)
  4. A history of teaching (20-21, “you have not so learned Christ”)
  5. The directive detailed (22-24, “put off … put on”, “old man … new man”, “grows corrupt … was created”, “deceitful lusts … righteousness and holiness”)

Some parallel passages that are worth considering:

  • Matthew 7:13-14, ““Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
  • Colossians 3:8-10, “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him”
  • Romans 12:1,2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”

Charles Hodge has an interesting quote from his commentary on Ephesians:

Sanctification includes dying to sin, or mortification of the flesh, and living to righteousness; or as it is here expressed, putting off the old man and putting on the new man. The obvious allusion is to a change of clothing. To put off, is to renounce, to remove from us, as garments which are laid aside. To put on, is to adopt, to make our own


  • The reason lost people act the way they do is answered in vss 17-20
  • The way Christians ought to be living is also described in this text – especially vss 23-24
  • Often Christians live in submission to their emotions instead of the authority of the Word of God. This text clearly teaches that the truly converted is called to live a distinctive life of commitment to Christ!